How To Keep Breathing While Running

How to Keep Breathing While Running

Running is a great form of exercise that can help improve cardiovascular health, boost your endurance, and burn calories. However, it can also be challenging, especially when it comes to breathing. Proper breathing while running is crucial to maintain stamina and prevent fatigue. In this article, we will discuss some strategies and tips to help you keep breathing effectively while running.

1. Breathe Through Your Nose

Breathing through your nose while running can help filter and warm up the air before it enters your lungs. This can help prevent irritation and potential respiratory issues. Take slow, deep breaths through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

2. Find Your Rhythm

Finding a breathing rhythm while running can help you regulate your breathing and optimize your performance. For most runners, a rhythm of breathing in for two or three steps, then breathing out for two or three steps, works well. Experiment with different rhythms to find one that feels comfortable for you.

3. Focus on Belly Breathing

Belly breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, is a technique that involves breathing deeply into your belly rather than shallowly into your chest. This technique allows for a larger intake of oxygen and can help improve your running performance. Practice belly breathing during your runs by consciously expanding and contracting your abdomen as you breathe.

4. Maintain Good Posture

Proper posture while running can help open up your airways and make breathing easier. Keep your head up, shoulders relaxed, and chest open. Avoid slouching or hunching over, as this can restrict your breathing.

5. Warm Up Before Running

Before starting your run, it’s important to warm up your body to prepare it for exercise. This helps increase blood flow to your muscles and prepares your respiratory system for the increased demand. Perform dynamic stretches and light exercises to get your body ready.

6. Control Your Pace

Running at an appropriate pace is crucial for maintaining your breathing. If you start too fast, you may find yourself gasping for air and struggling to breathe. Be mindful of your pace and try to maintain a steady and comfortable speed.

7. Practice Deep Breathing Exercises

Engaging in deep breathing exercises outside of running can help strengthen your respiratory muscles and improve your lung capacity. Spend a few minutes each day practicing deep breathing techniques, such as inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly.

8. Use Breathing Techniques for Hills

Running uphill can be particularly challenging for your breathing. To overcome this, try using a different breathing pattern, such as breathing in for two steps and exhaling for three steps. Adjusting your breathing to the demands of uphill running can help you maintain a steady rhythm.

9. Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is important for overall health and performance during exercise. Dehydration can make breathing more difficult, so make sure to drink enough water before, during, and after your runs.

10. Listen to Your Body

Every runner is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Pay attention to how your body responds to different breathing techniques and adjust accordingly. Your body will give you signals if you’re pushing too hard or need to make changes to your breathing pattern.


1. Should I breathe through my nose or mouth while running?

While both nose and mouth breathing have their benefits, many runners find it more comfortable to breathe through both their nose and mouth during the run. This allows for a larger intake of oxygen. However, if you’re experiencing respiratory issues or running in a dusty environment, breathing through your nose can help filter the air.

2. Can I control my breathing while running?

Yes, you can control your breathing while running by using techniques like finding the right rhythm, belly breathing, and practicing deep breathing exercises. With practice, you can improve your breathing efficiency and maintain a steady pattern.

3. Why do I get out of breath quickly while running?

Getting out of breath quickly while running can be due to various factors, including poor cardiovascular fitness, incorrect breathing technique, running at a pace that is too fast, or not warming up properly. Consistent training and practicing proper breathing techniques can help improve your endurance and reduce breathlessness.

4. How can I improve my lung capacity for running?

Improving your lung capacity for running can be accomplished through regular aerobic exercise, such as running, swimming, or cycling. Additionally, practicing deep breathing exercises outside of running and ensuring good posture can help expand your lung capacity over time.

5. Should I breathe faster or slower while running?

The ideal breathing rate while running varies from person to person. However, try to find a rhythm that allows you to take deep breaths and exhale fully without feeling overwhelmed. Experiment with different breathing patterns and find what feels comfortable for you.

6. Can I breathe through both my nose and mouth at the same time?

Absolutely! In fact, many runners find it most natural to breathe through both their nose and mouth simultaneously. Breathing through both channels allows for the intake of more oxygen and helps maintain a steady breathing rhythm.

7. Should I take shallow breaths or deep breaths while running?

Deep breaths are generally preferred while running as they help maximize oxygen uptake and improve overall performance. Shallow breathing can lead to fatigue and a feeling of breathlessness. Practice belly breathing to ensure deep and efficient breaths.

8. How often should I breathe while running?

Your breathing rate will vary depending on factors such as pace, fitness level, and personal preference. However, aiming for a breathing rhythm of inhaling for two or three steps and exhaling for two or three steps is a good starting point. Find a pattern that feels comfortable and allows you to maintain a steady rhythm.

9. Can breathing exercises help reduce side stitches while running?

Breathing exercises can help reduce the occurrence of side stitches while running. Deep, rhythmic breathing can relax the diaphragm and surrounding muscles, minimizing the likelihood of cramps. Additionally, maintaining proper posture and gradually increasing your running intensity can help prevent side stitches.

10. Is it normal to feel out of breath when starting to run?

Feeling out of breath when starting to run is normal, especially if you’re new to running or have taken a break from regular exercise. As your cardiovascular fitness improves and you become more accustomed to running, your breathing will become more efficient, and you’ll be able to run for longer periods without feeling as breathless.


Learning how to keep breathing effectively while running is an essential skill that can enhance your running experience and performance. By adopting proper breathing techniques, finding a rhythm, and listening to your body, you can minimize breathlessness, improve endurance, and enjoy your runs to the fullest. Remember to practice and experiment to find what works best for you, and always consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or underlying health conditions.

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